However, the Mexican attacker got a bad surprise if he was expecting a compliant victim. Tracy Mann, 21, became suspicious when she saw a truck with the door open and no one around. She opened up the pocketknife she always carries ("because you just never know") and was ready when a man accosted her and tried to steal her purse.
Mann fought back with the knife. "He was just tugging me and the purse, and I just started slashing at him," she said.
She said she didn`t stop slashing until the man let her go and ran away. Mann followed him up an embankment of rocks to a waiting truck so she could write down the license plate number.
Mesa police found the truck a short time later in Mesa and arrested Filemon Del Hoyo, 18, Abel Lorenzo Reyes, 18, and Isidro Mendoza, 22, all of Mesa. [Woman with knife fends off attacker, Arizona Daily Star 9/22/07]
The man who tried to snatch Tracy`s purse had been recently arrested for burglary and deported, but he returned to this country to resume his criminal ways. What`s up with that—is burglary no longer considered a serious crime? The attacker, Filemon Del Hoyo, should have been kept in jail for trial instead of being released to Mexico.
This story could have had a tragic ending rather than a happy one because of a foreign criminal being freed from jail. Tracy Mann said she "felt like he was after more than my purse," and hopes that attempted kidnapping will be added to Del Hoyo`s list of crimes. If she had not fought back against her Mexican attacker, she might have become another statistic among the Americans injured or killed by illegal aliens.